Throughout my time practicing Social Security disability law, I have heard from many clients feeling ashamed of the state in which they currently find themselves. Many make statements like:
-“I have worked hard all of my life. It’s just embarrassing not to be able to support my family like I used to.”
-“I have never asked for a hand out from anybody. I just feel like I’ve let myself and my loved ones down.”
-“If I could work any job, I would do it just to hold my head up high. This is my absolute last resort.”
-“I’ve worked this job my entire life. It’s who I am, where I find my value as a person. I just can’t do it anymore.”
Facing the prospect of needing Social Security disability benefits can be an extremely emotional experience for many, causing feelings of shame, humiliation, anger, embarrassment, and even denial. I have spoken with numerous clients who come to me months or even years after their initial injury or diagnosis stating they wanted to wait to apply because they assumed their disability would be temporary.
I want to be clear - there is NO shame in needing Social Security disability benefits, and recognizing that you are no longer capable of employment in the national economy because of your physical and/or mental conditions is NOT an act of weakness, but one of strength.
Nevertheless, if you delay filing your application, you may be giving up hundreds or even thousands of dollars in benefits.